Bookings have started coming in for the Caribbean 600 on Spirit of Juno a Farr 65 that has raced round the world. Main changes from last year when we were first ‘sea school’ yacht home are new sails and slightly lower IRC rating. Official Crew are, Paul Jackson Skipper, Ocean YM plus YMI and ISAF instructor who was helm on Helsal 3 when she won class in Sydney Hobart last year. Fletc–peter Fletcher–over 100,ooo miles including 29 sydney to Hoabrts and having been part of team winning the C600. Karoline George–back for a third time, Fastnets, Sydney Hobarts etc plus Rigger Paul with 2 C600s Fastnets, Volvo Round Irelands, Fastnets and medal winner in this year’s 3 Peaks yacht Race.
One of our regulars who was booked on the 9th October has broken her wrist and cannot sail. 2 other people who were going to be with her now aren’t sailing so we have a special offer of £250 for RYA Competent Crew or just sailing. The £250 includes all on board food, fuel, marinas, Oilies if you need them, fees etc. we may have a meal or 2 out which are extra but if we do I will still provde on board food for those wishing to eat on board.
RYA course specifically aimed at those wanting to achieve their Day Skipper/ ICC for sailing in the Med. . . . → Read More: New course for Med sailing
The 6 of us set sail form Lymington in a brisk southerly and headed for Weymouth on the tide. Our timing was aimed at crossing St Albans ledge around slack water and we achieved this but with multiple gusts to 30 knots, which was rather more than forecast, it was a bit lumpy at times.
In Weymouth Alan had to leave for family reasons so it was 5 of us that sailed back to Poole the next day. With F5 from due south we sped along achieving more than 10 knots over the ground at times. Having jibed round Anvil point we headed up to Old Harry and encountered a couple of Cats going fast with crew on Trapeze. The race off Old Harry is not that strong, but it does produce some surface turbulence so perhaps the extra shock loads caused a Trapeze line to break and the crew to go overboard. Normally recovery is quickly affected or a safety boat intervenes. We couldn’t see a safety boat, but we could see that the initial attempts to re-unite crew and Cat were not successful, so we turned and headed back towards them. As we closed and at least 5 minutes after the MOB (he was a good swimmer) the Helm got the Cat back close enough for the crew to grab it, then a safety boat appeared from the distance so we turned and headed North again.
A JOG race finishing in Poole meant we had to use the overflow marina across from the main Marina, just as expensive but more remote and quieter. We watched another yacht arrive and struggle a bit to park in quite benign conditions. We had also heard them repeatedly calling marinas on Channel 16 instead of 80. The next day we watched them cautiously as they left in glorious sunshine and light winds. Our concerns were well founded, but it wasn’t us they hit. We all get it wrong from time to time but attempting to power out of a situation can result in a lot more damage than just having the crew use fenders and hold you in place whilst you sort it out. They didn’t stop and we heard nothing on Channel 80 so I reported it.
The run up to Cowes in sunshine and light Southerlies was uneventful as was the next day’s trip out to the Forts and then back to Yarmouth. With a forecast for heavy squalls we just sailed close to home the final morning and then came in before the Thunder, Lightning and downpours arrived. 124 NM logged.
The Cherbourg race on 2nd September saw us finish in the middle of our Class in a tactically challenging race. For the 2016 Royal Ocean Racing Club UK season we finished 7th out of 66 in Class. 2017 is a Fastnet year and Wild Spirit will have a comprehensive campaign with Geoff Johns as Skipper. We will also have a Junior Offshore Group campaign which Paul will skipper. Other big races are the Sydney Hobart when Paul will again be Helming Helsal 3 and hoping to repeat last year’s first in Class. In February Paul will be skippering a Farr 65 for the Caribbean 600 and in May the new Antigua to Bermuda Race. Places are available on all of these plus a 3 week Fastnet plus Cowes Week package on a Swan.
I am working on it. The racing programmes from the Organising Clubs are not yet finalised but close enough for us to come up with our dates. We may have to change a couple of dates particulalrly in June as the Club’s haven’t agreed this yet plus October hasn’t been finalised either.
We are running a couple of private RYA courses for families/ groups on Wild Spirit and have 2 further enquiries. We can do Comp Crew and other courses over 3 standard weekends if you wish. This is not our preferred option as more travelling/ costs, plus we can’t go as far, but we do understand the need to preserve Annual Leave. As school yachts go Wild Spirit is both faster and comfortable than most with both diesel and electric heating. In the past our last course of the year was always betwen Boxing Day evening and New Year’s Day afternoon but with Paul away for the Sydney Hobart (starts 26th Dec.) we have stopped running this, we can however offer this again if a group wants it.
Now back from 16 days at sea and on the admin. as well as more dolphins than I have ever seen in the Channel we also gave a lift to a young migrating Gold Finch that landed on Bens Head 15 miles offshore. The little bird stayed with us for about an hour then set off again
There has been a rush of bookings for Autumn and a couple for next years racing.
Autumn is a good time to do a RYA course or a cruise. The sea is warmest about 21st September, everywhere has space and is pleased to see you. The need for at least 4 hours of night sailing on courses is easy to acheive without sleep deprivation.
If you want to ask questions about sailing in UK, Oz or Antigua just give me a call before I am off to sea again at start of September.
From Thursday morning Paul will be away for Cowes week and then on the 14th August the new RORC 400 mile race from Cowes down to Lands End round Wolf rock then across to Ushant the island at the NW point of France before heading to the finish at St Malo. if you wish you can follow Wild Spirit via Yellow Brick.
Judith will do the admin until Paul is back on 22nd August.
One space left for the ushant race so let us know if you want to join the team.
Always nice to get feedback and reflect on it if necessary.
Here is e-mail from Darren who successfully completed his Comp Crew on the 7 day course with cross channel.
Hi Paul just want to say once again thankyou for the amazing experience i had completing competent crew course with yourself across the channel and that im glad i chose to do this with you as i feel i learnt a lot more than i would on the same course with somebody else although this was a course to learn i also enjoyed the fine cuisine and the company of all aboard and am now looking forward to progressing further thanks again